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James Cummings wary of Tassort’s rivals

james cummings
Trainer James Cummings has a healthy respect for Tassort’s rivals in the Silver Slipper at Rosehill.

Godolphin head trainer James Cummings believes whatever wins the Silver Slipper will go on to play a starring role in the biggest two-year-old races of the autumn.

Cummings saddles up boom colt and Golden Slipper favourite Tassort but he is taking nothing for granted ahead of the youngster’s return in Saturday’s Group Two feature in which he will clash with impressive debut winner McLaren and unraced blue bloods Born A Warrior and Faretti.

“I have a really healthy respect for McLaren who showed some X-factor on debut,” Cummings said.

“And you can’t count out the well-bred debutants Born A Warrior and Faretti – they don’t trial any better than those two did.

“It will take a Group One two-year-old to come out on top.”

Godolphin is enjoying a red letter season with its two-year-olds, winning the Magic Millions Classic with Exhilarates and producing the winners of the Sydney juvenile races for the past two Saturdays in Tenley and Bivouac.

They will also be represented in the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday by smart filly Athiri.

Tassort has drawn barrier three in the Silver Slipper (1100m) and will be partnered by James McDonald who will be well versed on some of his rivals having ridden McLaren to victory on debut and Faretti in his two barrier trials.

A son of first season sire Brazen Beau, Tassort thumped his opposition by more than five lengths at his only start in the Golden Gift at Rosehill in November.

He wasn’t extended to win a recent barrier trial and Cummings is confident he has struck the balance between having the youngster fit enough for a tough Silver Slipper while keeping enough in the tank to take him deeper into the autumn carnival.

“It was a sedate trial, but I’ve got no doubt he got out of it what I needed him to,” Cummings said.

“He’s ready to run well, but he’s still open to improvement on what he does on Saturday.”

While Cummings will have the odds-on Silver Slipper favourite, his father and fellow trainer Anthony will be hoping to cause an upset against another short-priced colt when progressive three-year-old Vegadaze takes on Caulfield Guineas winner The Autumn Sun in the Hobartville Stakes.

The Autumn Sun is regarded by many as the heir apparent to Winx and despite some questioning his performances in two recent barrier trials, the Chris Waller-trained horse has opened at $1.55 for Saturday’s race.

Gem Song, a first-up winner of the Eskimo Prince Stakes, is at $5.50 with Vegadaze third pick at $7.50 as he shoots for four wins from as many starts.

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